Western Michigan University Research Foundation and Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center help Pennsylvania University-founded life sciences start up raise $2m.

Two bodies of Western Michigan University have backed Axonia Medical, a nervous system treatment company, set up by an academic from the University of Pennsylvania, with backing from the latter university’s technology transfer programme.

Western Michigan University Research Foundation and Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center, both of Western Michigan University, were joined in the $2m seed round on 10 May by Southwest Michigan First Life Science Venture Fund and Ann Arbor Spark, a development agency for the Ann Arbor region.

Axonia was founded by Douglas Smith from the University of Pennsylvania.

John Swartley, deputy executive director of the center for technology transfer at the University of Pennsylvania, said: "As one of the earliest participants in the Upstart Program at Penn, we are extremely proud of the progress that Axonia has made to date. They are establishing a clear example and path that we are actively encouraging other Upstart companies…

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